Friday, 12 July 2013

Peony Power

Yesterday we looked at the Poppy, today I am showing you the photographs I took while walking through Ward Park of the Peony and sharing a little bit about its history. 

Peonies were named after Paeon, who was one of Asclepius' pupils. Asclepius was a Greek god of healing and medicine. Asclepius was known for becoming uncontrollably envious of his student. Zeus, the king of the gods, rescued Paeon from Asclepius' anger by transforming him into an unassuming peony.

The History of Peonies in Medicine

Peonies were first used as medicines about two thousand years ago in the Far East and much later in Medieval Europe. All parts of the plant were used for ailments such as coughs, pains, gall stones, epileptic seizures, and jaundice.

The History of Peonies in Art
Peonies were celebrated in art as far back as the eighth century in the Far East. Peony images were found in China and Japan on porcelain, wood blocks, screens, tapestries, clothes, and other decorative arts.

The History of the Peony in European Horticulture
The peony was not introduced into Western horticulture until much later than the Far East. For example, it was not until l789 that the first peony tree was introduced into England.

The History of Peonies in Chinese Horticulture

Peonies were grown as ornamental plants in China in the seventh century. During the T'ang dynasty (618-906), they were grown in Imperial gardens under Imperial protection. China became a center for peony culture at the end of the tenth century and is still so today.

The History of the Peony in Japanese Horticulture
When peonies were introduced into Japan at the beginning of the eighth century, horticulturists attempted to make them simpler and lighter. Their results are known today as the Japanese form.

The History of the Peony in North American Horticulture

The peony did not become popular in North America until settlers began bringing plants from Europe aboard ships. By the l850's, peonies were offered in nurseries and became a staple in gardens.

  I hope you found these flowers as beautiful as myself. 
Thank you for visiting and MANY THANKS to ALL who left comments yesterday.
I appreciate everyone of them. 










  1. beautiful Margaret; not cold enough here to grow peonies

  2. Love peonies, one of my favourite flowers :-)

  3. I really love peonies, and never knew they had medicinal purposes. I've always just loved them for their big blooms and sweet scent!

  4. They're gorgeous! I love peonies. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Very interesting info about the Peony. I didn't know most of that ---so I learned alot today. Thanks!!! My mother used to have Peonies --and they were always so pretty.

  6. Hi Margaret.
    Great photos of the peonies.
    Anything with a beautiful color, and very good sharp.
    Regards, Irma

  7. they're just gorgeous in all of their layers!

  8. Yet another colourful and informative post Margaret. An excellent set of images...[;o)

  9. Lovely Peony, they open up every morning.

  10. Gorgeous shots! Thank you for the background. I'm loving your pics:) Chris

  11. The peonies are beautiful and one of my very favorite spring flowers! Your closeups are awesome. Have a great day and nice weekend!

  12. I had a beautiful white one in a previous garden but can't grow them up here. Gorgeous blousey blooms!

  13. Lots of beautiful peony flowers on this posting. Lovely photos. I was so interested in their history as they are my favorite flower. I used to have a white one at my old house. What a wonderful posting. Thanks for your comment. cheers

  14. oh my more knock my socks of photos!!! the information is great and you do take an incredible macro shot...this peonie is so beautiful.

  15. Beautiful! I love peonies! They are the state flower for where I live...Indiana...even though they are not native to the state. I just love them. They always bloom during the heavy raining season here and look awful in the rain, but still beautiful if you catch them on a non-wet day :-)